Sat, 01 Oct 2022

Iceland volcano erupting just 8 months after last event

Robert Besser
06 Aug 2022, 04:25 GMT+10

REYKJAVIK, Iceland: Iceland's Meteorological Office has said that only eight months after its last eruption ended, the Fagradalsfjall volcano in the southwest of the country began erupting again this week.

The government has also urged people not to go near the volcano, which is located some 32 kilometers southwest of the capital Reykjavik, and not far from Keflavik Airport, Iceland's international air traffic hub.

The airport remains open and no flights have been disrupted.

Scientists had anticipated an eruption somewhere on the peninsula after a series of earthquakes over the past week indicated volcanic activity was occurring close to the Earth's surface.

In an interview with the Associated Press, volcanologist Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson said that the eruption appeared to be small, adding, "But we do not know where in the process things are at," while boarding a helicopter for a first look.

The eruption in 2021 in the same area drew thousands of people who came to witness the spectacular lava flows produced by the volcano.

On average, Iceland experiences one eruption every four to five years, with the most disruptive in recent years being the 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which sent clouds of ash and dust into the atmosphere and interrupted air travel between Europe and North America.

At that time, more than 100,000 flights were grounded, stranding millions of passengers for several days.

When the news broke this week, shares in Icelandair, flagship airline increased by 6 percent, while the possibility of a much more disruptive eruption in a populated area has also concerned both local residents and investors.

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